Spring Equinox Hot Cross Buns Recipe

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Historically, it is believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons to honor the goddess Eostre.  The cross symbolized the four quarters of the moon.

Our friend The Pioneer Woman has a lovely recipe for these springtime treats!

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/04/hot-cross-buns/

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Dreamy Wild Mushroom Lasagna

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped shallots (about 4)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 (4-ounce) package presliced exotic mushroom blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
  • 1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • Cooking spray
  • 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. 2. Combine 1 cup boiling water and porcini. Cover and let stand 30 minutes; strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid and mushrooms.
  3. 3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add cremini and exotic mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sauté 6 minutes or until mushrooms are browned. Add thyme and 3 garlic cloves; sauté 1 minute. Stir in wine; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese and 1 tablespoon chives. Add reserved porcini mushrooms.
  4. 4. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add remaining 3 garlic cloves to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add the reserved porcini liquid, 2 3/4 cups milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Combine remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to milk mixture, and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  5. 5. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray, and top with 3 noodles. Spread half of mushroom mixture over noodles. Repeat layers, ending with remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheese over top. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until golden. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon chopped chives.

Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light 
JANUARY 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Banana Bread

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Banana Bread

Ingredients

    • 1 cup butter, room temperature
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together.
  2. Then add the eggs and mix.
  3. Then put in the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the bananas and sour cream and mix.
  5. Then add in the chocolate chips and pour into 3 greased loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until a toothpick that has been inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

 

Bringin’ Home the Bacon

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Fact.  Blogging about bacon when you have none in the fridge, is not advisable.

I’ve got to admit, I get a kick out of this hipster bacon revolution that seems to be happening on Food Network and all over the internet. Bacon milkshakes, bacon snacks, ground bacon burgers, bacon tee shirts, bacon boxer shorts.

So here you go bacon lovers.  A few things, you may have missed on your search for the perfect pork.

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Old Bay Bloody Marys

My sister in laws WP blog with her amazing recipes for delish food!

http://someoneleftthecakeoutintherain.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/touchdown-thursdays-old-bay-bloody-mary/

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Bakon Vodka

Perhaps a good addition to the Old Bloody Bay?!

http://bakonvodka.com

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Bacon Lollipops

Bacon Pops are hard candy lollipops that have successfully (and deliciously!) merged with bacon. These gourmet lollipops come in sets of six which feature two each of the following flavors: Maple, Honey, and BBQ.

The bacon strip shape is made from hard candy and then infused with bits of bacon to add a savory kick to these sweet treats.

If you love bacon, you’re going to love these tangy, candied lollipops. Each hand poured guilty pleasure is made in the USA.

http://www.vat19.com/dvds/bacon-lollipops-savory-candy-honey-maple-bbq.cfm

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Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Salty bacon perched on top of buttery, maple icing.  Oh yeah, baby!

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/maple-bacon-cupcakes-00420000006342/

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Periodic BaCoN Tee

Nutritionists tell you to get your vitamins and nutrients. Some of those nutritious foods taste gross. But there is an amazing chemical compound that makes just about any food taste amazing – it’s BACON. Get some.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/d4a0/?rkgid=275668648&cpg=ogpla&source=google_pla&gclid=CJ3-8ufIn7UCFQ2i4AodYR8AcQ

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Portrait of Kevin Bacon Made Out of Bacon

http://laughingsquid.com/portrait-of-kevin-bacon-made-out-of-bacon/

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Bacon of the Month Club

Featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate on the TV Food Network!

http://www.zingermans.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=G-BAC-3&crf=muumrk&gclid=CNmknK3Sn7UCFc2j4Aod9TEAgw

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Bacon Bourbon Caramel Corn

Truly the most amazing popcorn EVER!  Buy extra.

https://saltedcaramel.net/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=50

Mushroom Pies with Pear Salad

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I adore a good hand pie!  These pastry wrapped little beauties look absolutely delicious and are surprisingly easy to make!  They would be cute & easily portable for a picnic or impromptu lunch at your honey’s office, or served with eggs for a delicious breakfast.  Add a lovely side salad for a divine brunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar and/or muenster cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces mache or other salad greens (about 6 cups)
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and mist with cooking spray.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 14-inch square and cut into four 7-inch squares. Brush the center of each with mustard and season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms gill-side up on the pastry and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the breadcrumbs and cheese in a bowl and sprinkle over the mushrooms. Fold in the pastry edges, pleating to fully cover the mushrooms; press to seal. Brush both sides of the pastry with the beaten egg. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet, make slits in the top and bake until golden and crisp, 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, combine the shallot, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl, then whisk in the olive oil. Toss the dressing with the salad greens and pear. Serve the salad with the mushroom pies.

Serves: 4

Per serving: Calories 736; Fat 47 g (Saturated 18 g); Cholesterol 106 mg; Sodium 1,045 mg; Carbohydrate 54 g; Fiber 6 g; Protein 27 g

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos

Stuffed French Toast with Orange Marmalade

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Last year my sister in law made stuffed french toast.  Yes, it was as amazing and rich as it sounds!  We had a side of bacon which really helped to offset the immensely rich toast.

Ingredients:

Cinnamon chip bread or thickly cut french bread ( day old works best)

4 Eggs

½ Cup   —   Heavy cream

1 Tsp.   —   Vanilla

4 oz.   —   Whipped cream cheese

Grated zest of 1 orange

Orange marmalade

Procedure:

In a bowl, combine eggs, heavy cream and vanilla mix well.

Dredge each slice of bread in the mixture.

Place soaked slices on hot griddle. Cook each side until golden brown.

Stack toast slices with orange zest and whipped cream cheese spread between each layer. Add orange marmalade on top.

 

 

Winter Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cherries

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Ingredients:
  • 3 large roasted chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup roasted chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 Belgian endive, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt to taste
  • Frisée lettuce for serving
  • Method:

    Place chicken, walnuts, cherries and endive in a large serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the walnut oil into the balsamic vinegar and season with black pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the chicken mixture and toss well to coat. Season the chicken with smoked salt and toss gently to combine all of the ingredients. Serve over a bed of frisée lettuce.

    Nutritional Info:
    Per Serving:Serving size: including 1/8 teaspoon finishing salt, 440 calories (270 from fat), 30g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 11g sugar), 27g protein